CHAPTER 7 REVIEW
14 tips to make learning permanent
Define a specific study space that is free from distractions such as cell phones, televisions and family interruptions accomplishes two things first, it tells your mind that you are ready to focus and second, cuts your actual studying time in half. Why? Because your mind retains focused study more effectively than unfocused and interrupted study.
Write down key concepts in bullet points. If you have questions write them down. After class and after a reading session, write a summary of what you have learnt and your questions, review all of your summaries weekly.
In the 8 habit, Stephen R. covey recommends that you teach what you learned to at least two people to help remember it. The process of taking the new information and teaching it to someone else will force you to fully understand the new ideas.
It has been proven that short bursts of concentration repeated frequently are much more effective than one long session. So, even if you only have 10 minutes, DO IT. Take a break. Then study for another 10 minutes. This “distributed learning” approach is highly efficient because it honors the way the brain likes to work. The brain needs recovery and recharging time for “protein synthesis,” the rest periods are when your brain assimilates your effort. This is a powerful tool which many teachers do not acknowledge. To sit and study for hours and hours is not only boring. It creates fatigue, stress, and distraction. You cannot learn if you are fatigued, stressed, and distracted!
This follows the same principle as above, but on a longer, daily time cycle. The reason for resting is to refresh oneself. However, if you feel guilty (“I really should be studying”) then your precious rest period has been used to create more stress. The brain will not absorb new data of it is stressed. On days off from studying really enjoy yourself and do not feel bad about not studying. In a recent study conducted by Jeffrey Ellenbogen of the Harvard Medical School, ‘students with adequate sleep recalled information twice as accurately as sleep-deprived students.’
When you learn something new, try to go over the points the same day. So that if you wait a few days and then make efforts to review the material, it will tend to comment the information onto your brain so that the next “official” studies session, you will recognize it and it will seem easy.
Generally, if you schedule certain times of the day to study, you will get into a routine and accomplish more. If you just “fit it in” during the day, chances are that there will never be any time. An effective way to do this is to literally mark it down in your datebook calendar as of you have an appointment, like going to the doctor. For example 3-4:30 P.M. Study
Everybody has a certain learning rhythm. Some learn best in the early hours of the morning, others learn best late at night. Figure out which rhythm and time frame suites you best and use this to maximize your learning ability. However, you must frequently give your brain time to absorb the new stuff that you are learning. The best way is to “sleep on it” and the second way is to take frequent breaks and do something completely different.
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